Speaker at Labour manifesto launch is cancer-free after terminal diagnosis

<span>Keir Starmer with Nathaniel Dye during the launch of Labour's general election manifesto on 13 June.</span><span>Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images</span>
Keir Starmer with Nathaniel Dye during the launch of Labour's general election manifesto on 13 June.Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

A man who had a terminal cancer diagnosis, and who described Labour as “the party of hope for a brighter future I won’t live to see” at the party’s manifesto launch, is now cancer-free.

Nathaniel Dye, a 38-year-old music teacher, was diagnosed with stage four incurable bowel cancer in October 2022, and tumours were understood to have spread to his lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

After having radio frequency ablation treatment at the Royal London hospital, Dye was declared cancer-free on Tuesday. However, because of how much the cancer had developed, he still has only a 10% chance of survival.

Dye posted a picture of himself in hospital on X on Tuesday and told his followers: “Subject to scans, this man does not have cancer. I can’t believe I’m writing this. It hasn’t begun to sink in!”

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At each of the Labour events he addressed, Dye told of his difficulties accessing treatment on the NHS, which is grappling with delays to urgent cancer treatment. Last month he said because of these delays, in three to four years it was “all but certain that I will be dead”.

At the time of speaking to the Guardian on Tuesday, cancer was not detected in his lymph nodes and lungs. The tumour in his liver had shrunk to under 2cm.

“Before this procedure, success to me looked like avoiding an unexpected trip to A&E. I’m fully aware I’m fighting a losing battle but even this little victory is wonderful,” he said.

“If this makes me cancer-free for just one day, that would be a dream come true. In the long run, this almost means nothing. But today, in this moment, it means everything. I’m overjoyed.”

Dye said Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting contacted him shortly after he shared the news to wish him their best.

Last month Dye said: “I try not to think about what might have been if the tests, scans and appointments happened more quickly.

“But I waited over 100 days for treatment when the government’s target is 62. And there’s a good chance that time spent on waiting lists has cut my life in half – I’ve just passed my 2,000th week and most people will live beyond 4,000.”

He added: “If my cancer had been caught early, I would be looking at another 30 years of economic productivity. Instead, I’m staring down the barrel of early retirement and early death.”

He described Streeting as the “one person I trust to save and transform our NHS”.

Streeting said: “I am thrilled beyond words for Nathanial and so grateful to the brilliant NHS staff who are looking after him. While the road ahead isn’t straightforward, it is a lot longer than we feared and we know that Nat will relish and make the most of every precious day of it. He is truly inspirational.”